Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says people must be patient with £71m signing Kai Havertz.
The Germany international was taken off after 68 minutes of the 1-0 defeat at Everton on Saturday, the fourth successive game he has been substituted.
But Lampard defended the 21-year-old midfielder.
“In the modern day there is going to be criticism for every player of every club who loses a game,” he said.
“We should be patient with Havertz from the Chelsea end because he is a top-quality talent who has come into this league.
“He can play in any position across the front three and he has played on the right countless times before he played for Chelsea.
“People who want to jump on to criticise [should] just wait and give a young player time. I know the player that Kai Havertz is going to be.”
Since joining from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen in the summer, Havertz has scored three times in 17 appearances – netting a hat-trick against Barnsley in the Carabao Cup.
Speaking to Football Focus at the weekend he said that contracting Covid-19 in November had hit him “very hard” but said he is now “very fit again”.
Lampard said the aftermath of Saturday’s defeat at Goodison Park will be “a challenge for the players”.
“In the Premier League you are going to lose games and it is important to put perspective on it,” he said.